This study states that Intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs have revolutionized the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NVAMD). However, many patients suffer from incomplete response to anti-VEGF therapy (IRT), which is defined as (1) persistent (plasma) fluid exudation; (2) unresolved or new hemorrhage; (3) progressive lesion fibrosis; and/or (4) suboptimal vision recovery. The first three of these collectively comprise the problem of persistent disease activity (PDA) in spite of anti-VEGF therapy. Meanwhile, the problem of suboptimal vision recovery (SVR) is defined as a failure to achieve excellent functional visual acuity of 20/40 or better in spite of sufficient anti-VEGF treatment. Thus, incomplete response to anti-VEGF therapy, and specifically PDA and SVR, represent significant clinical unmet needs. In this review, we will explore PDA and SVR in NVAMD, characterizing the clinical manifestations and exploring the pathobiology of each. We will demonstrate that PDA occurs most frequently in NVAMD patients who develop high-flow CNV lesions with arteriolarization, in contrast to patients with capillary CNV who are highly responsive to anti-VEGF therapy. We will review investigations of experimental CNV and demonstrate that both types of CNV can be modeled in mice.

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